Discover an extraordinary collection that will captivate your imagination at Dennis Schrader's Little Cooperstown. Inside the St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida, this exhibit holds the world's largest signed baseball collection.
Join us as we explore this remarkable collection, filled with 5,000 signatures from sports legends, celebrities, and influential figures. Experience the rich history of baseball and explore the diverse narratives behind each signed ball.
But that's not all – we'll also uncover the story of Dennis Schrader, the man behind this incredible collection, and guide you through the other fascinating exhibits at the museum.
Plan your visit to this tribute to America's favorite pastime and discover the hidden gems of Florida's history along the way.
Welcome to Dennis Schrader's Little Cooperstown
This museum has been a cornerstone of the community since its establishment in 1921.
It offers visitors a snapshot of the Sunshine State's rich history, from its Native American roots to its modern-day vibrancy.
However, it’s the museum’s Autographed Baseball Collection that draws visitors from across the nation and beyond.
Watch this video below for a peek at what's inside the exhibit.
Beyond Compare: The World's Largest Signed Baseball Collection
This isn't just a trove of any memorabilia; it holds around 5,000 autographs of celebrities, sports legends, and influential figures, each on an item as classic and American as apple pie - a baseball.
The world's largest collection of autographed baseballs, according to the Guinness World Records, Little Cooperstown holds the record of 4,020 signed baseballs which was awarded in 2011.
The collection encapsulates baseball's evolution, reflecting different eras of the sport.
Not just limited to players, you'll find balls signed by presidents, astronauts, and celebrities who share the American love for the game.
Every piece in Little Cooperstown has a narrative, a history that connects fans to the athletes they idolize.
You'll find signatures from Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, and Mickey Mantle, among others.
Each ball reflects the glories and struggles of these legendary players, transporting visitors into the past and granting a unique insight into the lives of these sporting icons.
Beyond Baseball: Diversity of the Collection
Dennis Schrader's love for baseball transcends the sport itself, and this is evident in his eclectic collection.
Among the signed baseballs, you'll find those autographed by historical figures and popular personalities such as President Barack Obama, singer Tony Bennett, and astronaut Neil Armstrong.
This element of diversity adds a different dimension to Little Cooperstown, making it more than just a baseball collection.
Dennis Schrader: The Man Behind the Collection
This impressive collection started with a humble beginning. It was the lifelong passion project of Dennis Schrader, a local enthusiast who received his first autographed baseball from his father at the age of nine.
This sparked a love affair with the game that would eventually result in a collection so vast and diverse, it landed a spot in the Guinness World Records in 2011.
More To See at the Museum
The museum offers more than just baseballs. It has a rich repertoire of exhibits that illustrate Florida's history, from its early Native American inhabitants to its growth into a modern, bustling hub.
You can delve into the stories of the first Spanish explorers, the development of aviation, or the beauty of the indigenous flora and fauna.
While you're in the area, don't forget to explore the delights of St. Petersburg.
The city is known for its vibrant arts scene, beautiful beaches, and a wide range of dining options. Make a day of it and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Planning Your Journey
Getting to the St. Petersburg Museum of History is easy. Located at 335 2nd Ave NE, St. Petersburg, FL, the museum is a short ride from Tampa International Airport.
From the airport, you can take a bus, taxi, or rideshare directly to the museum. If you prefer to drive, St. Petersburg is conveniently connected via the I-275 highway.
For more detailed instructions on how to get there, check here: Directions and Parking
The museum is open from Monday to Saturday at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.
As of writing, the general admission charges are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, and $9 for students, teachers, and veterans. Children 6 years old and under are free. A valid ID is required to avail of these discounted fees.
A Tribute to the Spirit of Baseball: The World's Largest Signed Baseball Collection
Little Cooperstown, a labor of love by Dennis Schrader, is more than just a museum - it's a vibrant celebration of baseball's storied past.
Its rich collection of autographed baseballs is a testament to the sport's influence on American culture, and a tribute to the countless individuals who've shaped it.
Do you want to learn more about Florida's lesser known historical gems? Check out these articles:
A boarding pass salute to OpenAI's ChatGPT for charting the course of this article.